Local Wire

Gucci Mane @ Celebrity Theatre

With hip-hop more mainstream and codified than ever, Gucci Mane represents a refreshing departure from the formulaic marketing and progressive emasculation of contemporary rap music. The Atlanta artist's rhymes may suffer when it comes to depth, variety, intelligence, and delivery, yet his realness on and off the mic transcends his many shortcomings. As his peers are constantly tweaking their flows and adjusting their content in order to cash out with one big club hit or street anthem, Gucci Mane's music has retained its stylistic integrity since day one. From his breakout hit, "Icy," with Young Jeezy in 2005, to more recent odes to materialism ("Making Love to the Money"), Gucci Mane has consistently spoken to and for hustlers of every stripe. His tough talk on tracks is only bolstered by the fact that while other rappers were earning their street cred by getting shot, he earned his doing the shooting. Along with beating murder charges, he's been known to hit on the occasional woman at his concerts — as evidenced by some priceless footage on YouTube (not in the "yo shawty" way, either). The last of a dying breed, Gucci Mane will no doubt keep it real when he comes to town this weekend.

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Daniel Raven